The Hindu
Special Correspondent

30 out of 280 candidates are crorepatis, reveals data analysis

A total of 34 candidates contesting the third phase of the Assembly elections in West Bengal have serious criminal charges against them. The charges mostly relate to murder, attempt to murder, theft and extortion.

Of the 280 candidates whose data was analysed, 11 per cent (30 candidates) emerged as crorepatis, with the All-India Trinamool Congress (AITC) having the largest share, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Forward Bloc. AITC candidate Kasturi Das, with an asset base of around Rs 7.18 crore, emerged as the richest candidate. The average asset growth for re-contesting MLAs was around 125 per cent, with the AITC's Sadhan Pande showing the highest growth (in rupee terms), followed by Rabindranath Mandal of the CPI(M).

These nuggets of information were prepared and disclosed on Thursday by West Bengal Election Watch (WBEW) — an independent initiative of multi-stakeholders in the civil society, linked with the National Election Watch. This, the third series of its kind, pertains to the third phase of the elections and covers 75 constituencies in Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas districts. The polls will be held on April 27.

The WBEW said that though all parties spoke strongly in favour of women candidacy, only 33 were women. This trend fits in with the pattern seen in the previous two phases.

The literacy level of the candidates showed an improved figure. There are no illiterates; three candidates have not gone beyond fifth grade and 27 are grade eight pass. Alongside, there are 89 graduates, 39 professional graduates, 52 with post graduate degrees and 10 doctorates.

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